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Tennis elbow is pain over the outside of the elbow, caused by overuse or repetitive activity of the muscles in the area that extend or straighten the wrist and hand. As with all conditions, the pain can be short lived and mild or can be longstanding or severe in nature. Pain can be as a result of tennis, computer work, manual work or trauma to the area. 

Tennis elbow has a reputation of being stubborn in nature. This can be because at times there is a postural component from the shoulder neck region, there can be a muscle weakness component from the shoulder, nerve involvement particularly from the rdial nerve which passes through the muscles at the elbow or a tendinosis of the wrist extensors. Tendon problems can be slow to heal and need particular care when rehabilitating in order to strengthen the muscles without stressing the area unduly.

For the best outcomes, for tennis elbow a thorough assessment of all the possible contributing factors from within the body and external factors such as the workplace are essential. The poor outcomes associated with tennis elbow can be due to poor assessment and management.

Published in “The Village Observer”, September 2014. Written by Burns Bay Physiotherapy.